Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday, February 24th: Leviticus 24-25 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 24-25

Leviticus 24 shows us the importance of ritual in developing our spiritual maturity. The lamps and bread were to be tended exactly the same way all the time. Justice also to be a matter of ritual and was to be carried out consistently every time. So, too, we should develop spiritual rituals. Of course, rituals can become meaningless if we do them without thinking. But that doesn't mean there is a problem with the ritual itself. Indeed, we all know the power of forming good habits in our daily life, how much more so in our spiritual lives! 

Notice the harsh judgment for blasphemy - cursing God.  Society today treats the names of God and Jesus as curse words.  If that same judgment befell all who abused God's name the population of the world - or, at least, North America, would shrink considerably!  We need to be careful to treat God with reverence.  He is holy.  He is Lord.  

There is a huge emphasis on justice here.  The punishment should fit the crime, but it should not go beyond.  

I love God's plan of the Sabbath Year and particularly the Year of Jubilee. What a tremendous display of God's mercy, compassion, and generosity - which means it's also hugely convicting for us to display those same characteristics in our lives as believers.

Unfortunately, there's not much evidence that the Jews every actually carried out the Year of Jubilee. People's natural reaction when others are down is often to take advantage of them for their own gain, instead of helping them out with generosity, expecting nothing in return. What a challenge for us. Are we willing to help others when they are in need, or do we look for a way to gain from their loss? Are we willing to give without expecting anything in return, or are we more concerned about our bottom line?

Truthfully, there should be no poor among us - not because God guarantees everyone riches, but because the church should rally around those who fall on hard times, despite their best efforts. We shouldn't enable those who are lazy to continue in their irresponsibility, but we also shouldn't be looking for a loophole in order to get out of helping each other.

Do we have a spirit of mercy, compassion, and generosity? And do we live out what we say we believe?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Leviticus 26-27


Nathan Reimer said...

How different it would be if we all lived this way still, we would essentially be "renting" our property and homes and then possibly giving them up during the year of jubilee. Same as the money we owe, or that is owned to us. Even though we don't follow those rituals today, it is a reminder that all we have is really God's and we should be willing to give it all up for Him.

Conrad said...

Two things that stood out to me were the punishment for blasphemy against God, and the eye for an eye punishment. I too thought that there would be a lot less people on earth for the first one, and I wondered if people would treat others differently knowing that what they did to someone else would come back on them the same way?

Pamela said...

I don't like how casually taking the Lord's name in vain has become. Quite often I even receive email spam with "OMG" in the subject line. While I guess you could surmise that it is supposed to mean Oh My Goodness what a sale! I'm guessing that's not what the OMG is intending to stand for.